Nieuws - 21 maart 2002

IND to check educational establishments

IND to check educational establishments

"The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) became a national office last year. Since the beginning of this year all districts have been transferred to Rijswijk, and procedures have been tightened. We are going to check each year whether educational institutes are sending the minimum of ten requests required to be eligible for the shortened visa application procedure," Tessa Cools of the IND explains.

Applying for a visa to come to the Netherlands can be a lengthy business. That is why the IND introduced the 'shortened procedure' for businesses, educational institutes and cultural exchange programmes that have to apply regularly for visas. The only requirement they now have to fulfil is that they apply for a minimum of ten visas each year. "For some businesses or institutes the figure varies, but once in the shortened procedure they automatically remain in it," tells Cools.

The shortened visa application procedure only takes two to three weeks instead of a few months, and an added advantage is that large numbers of applications can be processed together. International students coming to Wageningen go through this shortened procedure, but the stricter controls by IND are unlikely to affect them. Stan van Heijst of Education and Student Affairs had this to say: "Things are fine in Wageningen; we have been making use of the shortened procedure for a number of years. The IND sends information to the Dutch embassy in the country of origin of the applicant. We have to be able to show that the person has a grant, either from us or from the government. The minimum number of 10 applications is not a problem for us, as well over a hundred MSc and PhD students come each year from other countries."

Monnique Haak